Believe it or not, this was one of the most difficult decisions of the twenty-five. I compared Anthony Bookman (1994-97) to fellow running backs Anthony Kimble and Kerry Carter, and at first glance all three seemed fairly equal. There was one category, however, which definitively tipped the scales in Bookman's direction: his versatility as a ball carrier allowed him to rack up 3,874 all-purpose yards, the seventh-highest total in school history. From 1994-1997 Bookman ran for 2,523 yards (4th all-time), totaled eleven separate 100-yard games (3rd), and had 17 rushing touchdowns (9th). His career bridged the transition from Bill Walsh to Tyrone Willingham, so Bookman's teams enjoyed a fair degree of success, including appearances in the 1995 St. Jude Liberty Bowl and the 1996 Norwest Sun Bowl. The Sun Bowl was a decisive Stanford victory, as the Mighty Card crushed Michigan State, 38-0, led by Bookman's eleven carries for 108 yards rushing.
*My first thought was to try to come up with a list of the best Stanford football players of all-time, but I quickly realized that I'm not qualified. I've only been watching Stanford football since the fall of 1987, so I can't really comment intelligently on players who suited up before then. Sure, I know that Jim Plunkett belongs, but I know nothing about Randy Vataha. Sports Illustrated once named Ernie Nevers the greatest college football player of all-time, and that's certainly good enough for me, but how can I possibly rank him against players of a more modern era? So I decided to create a list of the best Stanford players that I've actually seen in my time as a fan, and since that's roughly twenty-five years, I'm calling it the Silver Squad. (Catchy, isn't it?) Anyway, I'd love to hear your own memories of these players, and I won't be offended if you argue about who should or should not have been included on this list. Enjoy.
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